Monday, May 24, 2010

Week 48

Hey y'all!! It's been another great week here in East Texas! This Saturday was transfer calls and Elder Hill and I will be staying together 6 more weeks until he goes home, which means I will likely be here in Bullard for a long time. It will be interesting to see what happens. This week went pretty good in some areas and not so good in others.

As far as the good goes, we made some contact with a couple families where they have children that are not baptized and we have asked them if they would like to take the lessons and they said yes! The first one is a guy named Charles. He is in his 20's and his dad is a member but stopped coming to church after he was about 18. Charles seemed interested and we had a really good lesson with him on Saturday and we will see him again this Wednesday. Another interesting story start with a woman named Cheryl. She joined the church with her first husband in 2001 and moved to Longview in '04. They went through some trials and ended up inactive and divorced. She has since remarried and is now going through another divorce but is doing everything she can to get back in church. The incredible thing is that she has a 10-year-old son who is not baptized that wants to be that is currently attending church with his dad (Cheryl's former husband) in Tyler. We are going to go over Wednesday as well to start teaching him and hopefully we will be seeing a baptism before the end of June! It is incredible to see Cheryl's faith. She wants to come back full force; she wants home teachers, visiting teachers, she was just made a visiting teacher on Sunday, she wants to go to the temple, she wants it all and we are so excited for her. It will be awesome to see how the Spirit works on that family.

We met with Carlton and he's doing about the same. He was supposed to come to Church this Sunday, but he had some really bad arthritis pain that kept him from coming. We are going to see him Thursday, however, and so we should have a good lesson there and I believe he is planning on coming to church this coming Sunday.

We had another miracle this week. About 6 weeks ago we made contact with a guy named Andrew, who is the son and grandson of some inactive members. We dropped by on Tuesday and caught him in between things and sat down and talked with him for a little bit. He is going through a hard time himself with his marriage, but we invited him to take the lessons and he has agreed. We will see him tomorrow morning and we are hoping to have a really good and spiritual lesson with him. He is pretty humble, especially with all that is going on in his life, and Elder Hill and I see a lot of potential for him.

Juan is struggling, sadly. He sent us a text message in which he said he preferred to be alone for now, but we need to call him and see how he is doing. It is so hard to see those that are truly searching drop off because they have so much potential to be better than they can imagine. Hopefully we will get a hold of him, but keep him in your prayers.

We saw Patrick and met his wife Karen on Saturday really briefly (the appointment with Charles had run long) and she has a lot of questions, but they are pretty humble and they could progress really quickly. We will be seeing them Tuesday.

Other than that there really hasn't been much progression with any other investigators. The only other really exciting news is that we are getting a brand new church opening up in Bullard and we are really excited! It will be awesome.

Have a good week!!


Elder Grondel

P.S. With the two pictures, one is a missionary's 3D representation of The Tree of Life vision (1 Nephi 8) and the other: I found a frog! So I took a picture =)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 47

Hey y'all! It has been an AWESOME week here in East Texas. We worked hard and had a lot of success this week. We taught most of our investigators and found EIGHT new people to teach this week!! The Lord has blessed us a ton and we were really happy to see it. Some of them may be a little flaky, but we are working hard to get them to progress as much as possible.

Sadly we were not able to meet with Juan at all this last week. He has been busy lately and we are not entirely sure what is going on with him. It's pretty scary actually because we don't know what is up with him entirely. Hopefully we will be able to meet with him tomorrow.

Tisha is about the same and we may have to drop her because she really isn't going anywhere. It's sad to see but it happens. She likes smoking too much and says she isn't ready to come to church and so she is not progressing. We are going to try again and see what happens.

We saw Barbara this week and had a powerful lesson with her, but at this point she really just wants to know for the sake of finding out what her daughters are into. Her daughter Audrey called us and told us she felt a bit pushed, but we will simply teach at this point and hopefully she will come along.

Carlton is trying to quit smoking and is praying to know if what we are teaching him is true. We got him some reading glasses (he couldn't see the print in the Book of Mormon) and so hopefully he will come to know sooner. He is planning on coming to church this upcoming Sunday (yay!) and hopefully after that he will really progress. We have seen a lot of changes in him already and will see him on Wednesday of this week and will start teaching him the plan of Happiness. We are really excited for him.

We had a miracle on Saturday night as well. We went and visited a less-active family named the Woody's and shared a scripture with them and asked them if they knew anyone that we could go by or pray for. They said they didn't have anyone for us and so we said a prayer and got ready to leave. As soon as "Amen" was said, Brother Woody popped his head up and said, "You know what there is someone that you need to go see" and proceeded to tell us how to get to a friend's house (well, RV). He couldn't remember his name at the time, and I was going to dismiss it and was thinking "We can see him next week. There are some others I want to go by." As we were walking out the door, Brother Woody said again, "He really needs you guys right now. He's waiting for you." As soon as he said that, I heard something in my head--whether it was the Spirit or my own thoughts, I am still not entirely sure--that said, "We need to go there NOW." I looked at Brother Woody and said, "We are going right now." To make an already long story short, we met Patrick, who has been struggling with health disorders and poverty for years and is way humble. HE is awesome and is really excited for us to come back. We had an amazing lesson and talked about, prayer, faith, the scriptures, and the Atonement. The spirit was really strong. It was a very sacred meeting, and I was happy and grateful I listened to the Spirit.

Well, that in a nutshell was my week. I hope y'all have a good'un!


Elder Grondel

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


From left to right: Elder Hill (my companion), Elder Kelly (Zone Leader 1), Elder Clark (Zone Leader 2), me!, Elder T. Smith (Assistant to the President), and Elder Jardine (Assistant to the President)

There are some BIG missionaries out here!

Week 45

Hey y’all!

It’s been another great week here in East Texas! This week was great in some respects and terrible in others. Overall, it was a good week, filled with the Spirit and with teachings from the leaders of the mission. We had Leadership an accountability, which is a meeting where the District and Zone leaders and the Assistants to the President get together for trainings and to set goals and plans for the missionaries in the District and Zone. It was really good, and that afternoon, I had an interview with President Smith (it was a regular one, don’t worry I’m not in trouble) and it was a really good conversation. Friday we had Zone conference, in which I was asked to sing (yikes!). IT was really good, though; I sang “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” a Capella and man it was cool. The Spirit was way strong and right after that it was open to testimonies and it was a really good one. There were very few dry eyes, if any at all. We also had some good talks and it was a lot of fun and again, filled by the Spirit.

So this week we didn’t find anyone new at all to teach. We talked to a bunch of people and put some good finding time in, but sadly it yielded no results. Elder Hill and I are definitely looking forward to this next week, though, and will hopefully be finding more people.

There really hasn’t been a change with any of our investigators except for Carlton. He won’t be getting baptized on May 22nd. He still likes having us come over, but he really isn’t willing to change. Or so we thought. We saw him on Saturday night and had an INCREDIBLE lesson with him about the Atonement and the Gospel and Faith, how true faith requires action. He said he knew he needed to change, we emphasized the need to be baptized by the proper authority, and he agreed to pray to know specifically if he needs to be baptized into our church. It was great.

There is only one other miracle this week and it’s a woman named Patsy. She has a stepdaughter named Micah (who lives in Arkansas) who recently joined the church and is planning on getting sealed to her husband in the temple in July. Micah called us and asked us to go by her, and we gave Patsy a call and went by this last week. Her stepson (Micah’s brother) also died of a heart attack last week at 28 years old, and she just found out she has colon cancer. She is going through a lot, and we were asked to go over to see her and to give her a priesthood blessing. We went there and Micah was there as well, as they are planning on having the funeral in Tyler. We gave her a powerful blessing and she loved it and wants us to come back soon. We haven’t seen her since then, but we are hoping to get over there sometime this week (like Wednesday or Thursday). That will be very good for her and for us. We are excited.

Well, that’s really all for this week. Hope y’all have a good one!

Elder Grondel

Week 44

Hey y'all! It's been another beautiful week here in East Texas! We are having a great time and are about to see an explosion of the work. In the church there is a program that is part of
"Preach my Gospel" that really helps the missionary work in a ward. Sadly, it has been struggling here, but we met with the Bishop and he asked us to present it to the ward council this upcoming Sunday to really get it going in the ward! We are really stoked and know that if everyone is on board with this program, we will see a huge increase in finding, teaching, and baptizing! It should be awesome.

This last week we saw Carlton and started to help him to quit smoking. He has been struggling with it, but we should be able to help him through it. He know he needs to quit smoking and according to the commandments he needs to quit smoking, so it' really a win-win situation here. He is still set on being baptized, so we will have to make sure when we see him tomorrow.

Tisha and her family are still meeting with us, and we are starting to make progress and should hopefully be able to get her to come to church soon. There are still some fears that she has, but we are now teaching her daughter Britney, who is 16. It will be exciting to see if we can get Britney to church, because she really likes the Book of Mormon and believes much the same things that we do (especially about the Plan of Salvation, which we are teaching the next time we go over there.)

We also found a kid named Juan who was searching the Internet and was curious. He went to and read somethings about Joseph Smith that really caught his attention. He requested a Book of Mormon and said "I want to learn about Mormonism". We were really excited when we got the message and went over on Tuesday to see him. He lives down in Jacksonville, but he is awesome. He grew up Christian (Catholic I believe) but his view of God is some one's there but he doesn't care. It was so great for Elder Hill and I to be able to bear our testimonies of how God and Jesus Christ love each of us and how we've seen the blessings in our lives. We then taught the Restoration and you could not have asked for a better lesson. He asked all the right questions and gave the perfect answers. It was truly incredible. He really liked the First Vision and said he felt "heat". We were almost jumping up and down when the member that was with us testified of it being the Spirit. We are so excited to teach him more. Sadly we will only be able to see him once a week, but we will meet with him at the church tomorrow to give him a tour and get him comfortable with it. We are stoked.

Other than that, not much has happened. We went bowling with the Zone in Athens on Monday, which was a lot of fun, and I totally Stunk. I forgot how bad I was at bowling. Like, really bad. I didn't even break 90. It was pathetic. Oh well, it really doesn't matter. Still, it'd be nice to be good ;)

I hope y'all have a great week!!


Elder Grondel